J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2014 Dec;12(2):54-62. 10.0000/jksct.2014.12.2.54.

Comparison of Prescription Patterns and Clinical Features according to Clinical Departments in Sedative-hypnotic Intoxication

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea. gil11686@gilhospital.com


The purpose
of this study was to compare prescription patterns and clinical features according to clinical departments in sedative-hypnotic intoxication.
This was a retrospective study of histories, substances of poisoning, acquisition routes, clinical courses, and outcomes of patients treated for acute intoxication in a single emergency medical center from January, 2011 to December, 2013.
A total of 769 patients were treated for acute intoxication, 281 patients ingested sedative hypnotics during the study period. Among 281 patients, 155 patients were prescribed by psychiatric department and 80 patients were prescribed by non-psychiatric department. Benzodiazepines were more likely to be prescribed by psychiatrists, and zolpidem was preferred by non-psychiatrists (p<0.001). Non-psychiatrists were more likely to prescribe short acting benzodiazepines than psychiatrists (p<0.001). However, there was no statistically significant difference in the clinical outcomes, including prevalence of admission to ICU, ventilator care, and length of stay in ICU. In patients prescribed by non-psychiatrists, there were more patients prescribed without psychiatric diagnosis and diagnosed as major depression disorder after hospitalization.
To promote rational prescribing of sedative hypnotics, proper psychiatric evaluation should be performed before prescribing, and educational programs including the contents of interactions and side effects of sedative hypnotics are needed.


Poisoning; Hypnotics and sedatives; Prescriptions
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